A few days ago Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) said she believes it's time for her colleagues to pay interns. She came to the realization when she visited a diner in Washington, D.C. for a late night dinner and most of the staff were Capitol Hill workers at their second job.
Now, she says she's going to "walk the walk" by paying her interns at least $15 an hour.
Ocasio-Cortez's chief-of-staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, confirmed that detail with a report from The Washington Post:
.@saikatc confirms @Ocasio2018 will pay her interns "at least" $15/hr— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) December 4, 2018
A 2017 study found that only 8% of House Republicans and 4% (!) of House Ds pay their interns
Also, read @DPAQreport: https://t.co/Y7imloMdhi https://t.co/e1nl88jsOV
Time to walk the walk.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 5, 2018
Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them. https://t.co/BuKCDSai0K
According Pay Our Interns, a nonprofit group, 51 percent of Senate Republicans pay their interns, as opposed to 31 percent of Senate Democrats. On the House side of things, 8 percent of Republicans pay their interns, compared to 3.5 percent of Democrats. And, to make things even more ironic, the majority of Democrats who support a $15/hour minimum wage didn't pay their interns.
Back in September, Congress passed legislation to pay their interns starting next year, The Hill reported. The house appropriated $8 million and the Senate appropriated $5 million for the salaries.